Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pike and walleyes are really chunky this year

This beautiful 41.5-inch pike caught and released by angler Bryan Shirey this week is the latest in a number of really big pike caught by Bow Narrows fishermen.

All of these big northerns were exceptionally beefy. This lunker could easily have tipped the scales at 20 pounds. Normally a 20-pound pike would need to be 44 inches in Red Lake.

A week ago a 43-inch pike was weighed and found to be 23 pounds.

Why are the pike so plump? No one knows for sure but a good guess is all the small walleye that seem to be everywhere this year.

At the same time walleyes are equally as fat. We're catching 22-24-inch walleye that rip the line off your drag. These fish are also apparently finding plenty to eat.

Incidentally, just about every one of the huge northern pike caught of late were taken while walleye fishing.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Inform credit card company you'll be in Canada

Before leaving for your trip to Canada you should call your credit card company and let them know you will be out of the country. Otherwise your card will likely not work when you get here.
You can fix the problem once here too by calling the company but it will take time and will cause you some inconvenience. It's better to give the company a heads-up before leaving home.
Credit card companies block foreign transaction for your own protection, i.e. in case your card was stolen. They can do the same for out-of-state transactions.
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Friday, July 23, 2010

Floatplane trip was a great adventure for all

Many guests at camp went for sightseeing trips aboard the historic Norseman floatplane this week and everybody agreed it was blast.

In the top photo Carter Berlin points out something on the ground to father Kory.

Chimo Airways from Red Lake offered the 20-minute trips which flew all around the west end of Red Lake and offered people an opportunity to see the area they have been fishing from a few thousand feet up.

In the bottom Chimo pilot Ian gets the names of the next batch of passengers.

The trips cost $75 per person.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lots of bigger pike now being caught

Many anglers are now reporting catching and releasing big northern pike. A number of these were caught fishing for walleye using walleye rigs such as crawler harnesses.
There seem to be a bunch of pike in the 35-39-inch range and one person got a 42-incher yesterday.
We've been having a series of thunderstorms the last week and the fish seem to bite best just before each storm.
Walleyes also bite best before the storm but then shut off for awhile afterwards.
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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Finally able to get on the 'Net again

We've had a devil of a time getting connected to the Internet the last few weeks.
That's the reason for the lack of blogs.
I finally discovered the trouble is in the underground cable that runs between our microwave antennae at our shed and the lodge. I can successfully connected by hooking up my laptop computer right at the main telephone box in the shed.
Anyway, to bring everybody up to speed, the temperatures have been absolutely beautiful this summer with daytime highs about 70-75 F.
It has been fairly wet the last two weeks. We get at least one shower almost every day and sometimes this comes in the form of a thunderstorm.
Walleyes are still in the shallow bays but are also now being caught in on the edges of the deep bays as well. It seems like they might be in transition with some of them traveling from the shallow to the deeper areas.
The usual stuff is catching them: walleye spinners, jigs, etc. There is no preference to the kinds of live bait. Most people use worms and leeches.
Northern pike were fairly difficult to catch at the start of the month but some really nice fish are being taken now. Spinners continue to be the best lures: Mepps, Blue Fox, spinner baits and jig spinners -- jigs with a hairpin spinner attached like a Beetle Spin.
We've had a couple of lake trout caught by walleye fishermen in the past week. These were both pretty big fish, one 30 inches and the other 33.
We're seeing more moose than normal. Many of them are cows without calves and that's odd. Usually every cow has a calf with it. The usual reason cows don't have calves is that the calves were taken by black bears.
The vegetation is very lush this summer. We've had just the right amount of precipitation, sun and warmth to create ideal growing conditions.
For some reason mosquitoes were almost entirely absent, until now, but they still fewer than normal. The worst pest has been the ankle biter flies that get in your boat.
That's all for now.
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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Life without an endless supply of electricity

I'm noticing that more and more people don't seem to know how to live without an endless supply of electricity.
Of course, the reason I might be more aware of this than others is that I'm the person who is responsible for electricity here at camp.
We have a diesel generator that powers the electric refrigerators and lights in the cabins and also must power the various water and sewage pumps that keep camp functioning.
I'm also the guy who must go out in a boat looking for dry firewwood that feeds the wood stoves in the cabins. I believe it was Thoreau who said wood warms you twice, once when you cut it and the second time when you burn it. Thoreau must have had an easily accessible supply of wood because here at Bow Narrows Camp wood warms our helpers and me many times more than that: first when we cut it, then when we haul it to the boat, when we load the boat, when we unload the boat, when we cut it into stove-length pieces, when we split it and finally when we haul it to the cabins.
It gives a person a whole different perspective on the necessity of burning fuel.
I really do choose to just put on a sweater rather than light a fire when the temperature is only mildy cool.
A lot of people simply don't seem to even consider this option. Their first and only method of regulating their body temperature is to burn fuel. "I'm cold, burn fuel to warm me," or "I'm hot, burn fuel to cool me."
One time years ago we were having a heat wave here at camp with temperatures about 90 F. We had four customers who wanted me to drive to town and buy each of them large electric fans, something that wasn't even available at our single hardware store anyway.
"We're hot and we need fans."
I pointed out that everyone else was just going swimming several times a day. The lake water was beautiful and once your body was cooled off it stayed cool for hours afterwards.
"No way! That water's too cold," they protested.
But you're hot right now, right?
"Yes, so go to town and buy us fans!"
They just wouldn't believe that people could control their comfort level by anything other than the consumption of fuel.
Likewise, many people don't realize that they can keep things cool with anything other than an electric refrigerator.
Insulated coolers do this nicely. Although we don't have an ice machine here at camp (It would take too much electricity) we do have jugs of frozen water (ice) in our freezers. You can put these in large coolers or you can bring small ice packs that you put in small drink coolers or in the foam boxes that flats of worms come in and everything is nice and cool.
While we're on the subject of electrity, I always marvel at people who bring their own boats to camp. They must plug-in their boats to an electrical outlet every time they come to shore to recharge the batteries that power their electric trolling motors.
We're a wilderness camp, right? That means there is not an endless supply of electricity for people to plug-in their ever-growing number of electrical gizmos.
"Which of these is a current bush?" I think people must wonder as they hold their extension cord and look at the trees that line the bank. (They end up running long, long extension cords all the way to their cabin where they soak up some of the limited amount of electricity we are able to produce with our generator.
The reason they don't use their outboard motors for fishing is because they are too large and unsuitable for fishing.
Am I the only person who thinks it's ironic that someone would have a fishing boat with a motor that is unsuitable for fishing?

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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Old-fashioned telephone surest way to reach us

If you need to contact us to, say, let us know you have arrived in Red Lake and wonder how long until the boat picks you up, just call the camp at either of our phone numbers: 807-727-2730 or 807-727-0439. If you cannot get through for ANY REASON, i.e. the phone is busy or there's no answer, then try the other number.
If your cell phone doesn't work in Red Lake, then ask the folks at Red Lake Marine (that's where we dock our boat) if they would call the camp and pass on the message. It's a local call on a land line.
We had a recent case where a group didn't tell us when they would be arriving and then waited in town for four hours until someone at Red Lake Marine noticed them standing at our dock and asked if something was wrong.
Red Lake Marine then phoned and I quickly made the trip to town to pick them up.
Why didn't you call and let us know you were here? I asked. Their cell phones didn't work in Red Lake!
Here's a news flash: EVERY building in Red Lake has this device called a TELEPHONE in it. There are even buildings with PAY TELEPHONES where you can make a call for 25 cents. But even if you don't want to spend that kind of cash virtually anyone would let you use their phone to make a local call. There's no charge to them, you see. That's the way it works with the old-fashioned telephones. Local calls are free, no matter how many.
Don't send us a Tweet, don't text message us, don't put up a message on Facebook, don't e-mail us. Find a telephone and call.

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